Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Vote for Change; A Vote to End the Religous Right's Reign of Sadness

Election Day 2008. In three hours, I am going to officially get up and go vote.
I plan to be there at 6:30 a.m. to vote for change.

I hope before I go to bed tonight to know that Barack Obama won the Presidency by large margins---popular and electoral votes.

For my undecided friends, who might only read a line or two, I’ll say two endorsements should lower the fear factor that has been so intensely pushed by the McCain campaign: Warren Buffet and Colin Powell. For the ones of you buying into the “Barack Obama is a socialist” argument—consider that fact that America’s number one investor, one who’s latest biography is named Buffet: The Making of an American Capitalist, is endorsing and advising Obama. For those who fear Barack Obama will be weak on national defense, consider the endorsement of the general in America who has proved he can win wars—Colin Powell.

In 2004 when Barack Obama made his speech to the Democratic Convention, I knew right then that I wanted this to be the voice of America. "We are not just a red America or a blue America---we are the United States of America." After 8 years of leadership that says all we need is 51%, I am hoping that we have a president who will be president of all the people.

Back in the late seventies and early eighties, when I first became of aware of the emerging religious right, I was saddened.

I thought when people who loved Jesus got interested in politics, it would mark a day when there would be concern for the poor—not mocking of the poor. I thought it would mark a day when there was increased enthusiasm for racial inclusion and for leveling the playing field—especially for African-Americans—not resentment towards affirmative action. I thought when Christians got into civic affairs, they would be advocating for a living wage for all workers—not for fighting against the minimum wage and for limiting unions. I thought when Christians gained influence in politics; it would be a day when immigrants would feel the welcoming hand of a rich country ready to share its bounty—not exploitation and backlash. When I thought of committed spiritual folk in public life, I just knew there would be a passion for making sure everyone could have access to high quality healthcare—not of government cutting programs for child healthcare. I thought Christians in government would look for active ways to be good stewards of the earth. I thought Christians in government would be peacemakers.

Sadly, what I thought was not what the emergent Religious Right thought.

The Bush administration has been the culmination of the Religious Right's reign of sadness.

The words of Barack Obama in 2004 reflected the values I have wanted in governmental leadership. There is a role for government in unifying the country, in establishing justice, and working for the general welfare of the people.

Most ethical and social issues cannot be resolved by government, but we can choose a government informed by spiritual and ethical values. Some of the values I have believed Christians can espouse--welcoming the stranger and alien, caring for the sick and the poor, giving the worker his due, punishing evil doers, and peacemaking--are those Barack Obama embraces.

Of the many ethical issues at stake, not all are answered equally well by public policy. There are not simple solutions to all issues and there are only two major parties. Some very important issues, including abortion, stand as difficulties for many people. They are a matter of conscience. That being said, there are many issues at stake and neither of two parties can answer them all.

On the majority of issues amenable to policy, I go for the Obama and Democratic party side.

Barack Obama is the leader we need to inspire the hard work of democracy.
Barack Obama is the leader we need to inspire the hard and dangerous work of peacemaking.

Barack Obama is the leader we need to do justice.
I am going to vote for change.


Anonymous said...

Well said. Good to see you back Bev. I thought you might be holding you breath. I have been, so as not to mess things up.

I’ve heard it said that, with the shape our economy is in the winner should demand a recount. I think our guy is up to the job.

Jody said...

Well said, cousin.

Anonymous said...

I dislike both candidates that are running for President this year; however, I think just about anybody could do better than what George W. Bush has done the last eight years.
David Walker

Whitney Snell said...

Mrs. Dowdy, I knew you were my favorite teacher for a reason.

Anonymous said...

What a night!

Unknown said...


Lily.Bart said...

What a great post, a beautiful summary of what Christianity ought to be about--God's people. If people are suffering or needy or desperate, the Christian ought to use every avenue available to him to right those wrongs: including government.

Anonymous said...

Bev, I really enjoyed your post.

I do believe that the teachings of Jesus align more closely with the ideals of Obama than those of McCain... but I can't help but think if Jesus were alive today, that he just wouldn't have that much interest in politics.

I don't think Jesus ever intended for the government to take care of the weak and the poor... isn't that the church's job? Somewhere along the line, it seems the church has put all it's faith in the government to do the job that should be left up to us.

Speaking in broad political terms, Republicans want the government to enforce morality (which should be the church's job) and Democrats want the government to enforce charity (which should be the church's job.)

I think Christians need to step up, and no matter who is in office, and take responsibility for loving others, feeding the hungry, raising our children with a moral foundation, giving to the poor and offering financial, emotional, and physical support to those in need.

If the church did it's job, we could leave the government to do what it was set up to do: to keep us safe while protecting our freedoms. This would take these "hot button" issues out of the equation, and we could finally get on being one country, united.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This totally puts into words exactly what I have been thinking in this election! You have a way with words!

Anonymous said...

Bev - Wonderfully said! Your sister Deborah shared a couple of your posts with me and now I am a subscriber who greatly anticipates reading your newest posts through my Google Reader.
Keep writing & we'll keep reading. Thanks for the brain food!
Dave Ewick, City Librarian, Southfield, MI

Anonymous said...

Indeed very well said. And viewed a different angle than other posts. Thanks for sharing!

Also, I can't help but think you would like this blog post I just finished reading before I read yours. It's about a Baptist pastor's wife who voted for Obama. http://www.welcometomybrain.net/2008/11/story-of-baptist-pastors-wife-who-voted.html

C said...

Sadly, those of us who are trying to follow the teachings of the Christ we follow ... well, we get flogged by the Religious Right.

It's a painful beating sometimes, but worth it!

Anonymous said...

Brenda said,
I was led to your blog through something my son, Christopher Berry, had linked to you, and I was so excited by what you had to say. You are a great christian woman as your family members are remarkable Christians also. Thank you ,to each of you, for your help to my family, including the help and support of my daughter, Katherine,though some of our hardest times. I loved you guys so much while you were in Memphis, but yet did not realize what a big part of our blessings came from you and your family at that time. I thank God for what he gives to us each day! Katherine did graduate from Harding Univ. went on to marry Brian and they now live in Canada.
Tell your mother that I said hi.
Love to you all and may God continue to to shine though you all. Brenda

SteveA said...

Thanks for a great series of posts.

Unknown said...

I think you need to write a blog this weekend. We're all waiting.

Anonymous said...

Yes we are!

Anonymous said...

I am 5th Generation member, and I believe that the United States will have a more humane society with the election of President Obama.------------- The Churches of Christ do not have the resources to help all of the needy people in this Nation. Therefore the Government must help the needy or they will not get the help they need. I believe that given the choice of letting a child die or having the Government provide life saving medical care to the child, that Jesus would say "Government provide the care". I do not believe that Jesus would say "Govenment let the Child die", because it is the Church's job to save the child, even if the Church does not have the resources to help all of those who need help.---------- In the time of Jesus, the Roman world was ruled by a dictator, therefore the people were not respnsible for what their Government did or did not do. In a Republic, the people are responsible for what their Government does or does not do.---------------- The view that the Government should leave the responsibility for helping the poor to the Churches is dangerous to those who need help the most, because the churches have never been able to take care of the most needy by themselves, and they never will be able to. When my wife, and her sisters where living in the Kentucky Baptist Childrens Home for homeless and destitute children, and she, and the other Children living there, received Government Medicaid cards, those who argued that the Government should not provide those children with Medicaid Cards where wrong, and they are wrong today. The baptist churches barely had the resources to feed the children at the Glendale, Kentucky Children's Home, much less give them the money for school lunches or buy the children health insurance.--------------- Near the Glendale Kentucky Childrens home is a Church named Giliad. There is a long line of graves, starting in the year 1915, where they buried the children that died in the home. There are no graves after 1965.---------------- My wife says that if most people ever expierenced what it is like to be homeless, and to be totally dependent on strangers for their survival, then they would not oppose Government help for needy children. I suspect that she is right. Maybe with President Obama, the Millions of American Children who do not have decent Medical care will get the care that they need, and that no child will die from diabetes in the U.S.A., because they do not have health insurance.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad to see such 'blindness' and judgmental thoughts in your own posted words. Obama is a political unabated supporter of killing the unborn - where does that basic moral premise put him?

You quote "you reap what you sow" to forward your argument, but fail to consider the consequences of your own debate, support and voting.

I pray we all find mercy in the days that are before us.